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Vernon Search and Rescue uses ‘mapping magic’ to track down person lost in the woods

VSAR found the person at 2 a.m. after the RCMP provided the location of their cell phone
Vernon Search and Rescue located a person lost in the hills around Vernon at 2 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, 2022. (VSAR photo)

Vernon Search and Rescue deployed some “mapping magic” to locate a person lost in the hills around Vernon Wednesday night.

Shortly after 10 p.m., May 4, the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP requested VSAR’s help with a vehicle accident on a forest service road. However, the person involved in the crash was helped by their family, and the rescue team stood down just as they were leaving the hall.

While standing down, VSAR was tasked with locating a missing person.

“The RCMP provided us with a location of the subject’s cell phone. After a little bit of mapping magic from our search manager we had a plan and were on the road into the hills around Vernon,” a post on VSAR’s Facebook page reads.

The team had to drive through snow and clear numerous fallen trees from the road to access the area they believed the missing person to be located.

At 2 a.m., after hiking through a couple of cut blocks, VSAR was able to find the person, who had smartly stayed where they were when they called for help.

The person had built a fire to stay warm over the course of a chilly night. By 4:30 a.m., they were back home safe and sound.

“We would like to remind everyone that conditions outside of the valley are still snowy and cold. Please be prepared for all weather conditions when heading out,” VSAR said.

“In this case our subject was able to use their cell phone, but this often isn’t an option. We encourage all backcountry users to carry alternate communication devices such as two-way satellite communicators and leave a trip plan.”

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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